MONTICELLO, Ill., (WCIA) — On Sunday, many families celebrated their dads and father figures by checking out the Monticello Railway Museum. For Father’s Day, the museum offered free rides to dads when they rode with their kids.
Harleigh Clemmons and her dad Bradley were able to ride in the front engine of the train together.
“This little girl loves trains and we decided we’d come out here for Father’s Day and take a little ride,” he said.
Dale Jenkins is one of the train conductors. He has worked on railroads for over 50 years.
“I have the opportunity to be with people from all walks of life and they all share the same interest–they love trains,” Jenkins said.
He said that he hopes interactions with more and more kids help to inspire future generations of conductors and engineers. In fact, some of his favorite memories involve working with kids and seeing their faces light up on the train.
Harleigh said that she has her own wooden toy train that she built with her dad.
“We put stickers on it. That’s how it looks like a train,” she said.
Paul Jones is a locomotive engineer. That means he’s the one that controls the train. He said inviting kids up to the cab is one of the most special parts of his job.
“They look up at you and it’s like, I remember when I was a little kid. Man, it’d be neat to ride up there. We invite them up, tell them about the engine,” Jones said.
He also said that working on trains seems to run in his family. His son is an engineer and instructor. Plus, his young grandson is interested in following in their footsteps when he is a little older.
For more events at the non-profit museum, visit their website.